The Trojan Women
form-start for the Achaean ships for your departure hence, soon as
ever the leaders of the host blow loud and clear upon the trumpet.
And thou, unhappy grey haired dame, follow; for yonder come servants
from Odysseus to fetch thee, for to him thou art assigned by lot to
be a slave far from thy country.
HECUBA Ah, woe is me! This surely is the last, the utmost limit this,
of all my sorrows; forth from my land I go; my city is ablaze with
flame. Yet, thou aged foot, make one painful struggle to hasten, that
I may say a farewell to this wretched town. O Troy, that erst hadst
such a grand career amongst barbarian towns, soon wilt thou be reft
of that splendid name. Lo! they are burning thee, and leading us e'en
now from our land to slavery. Great gods! Yet why call on the gods?
They did not hearken e'en aforetime to our call. Come, let us rush
into the flames, for to die with my country in its blazing ruin were
a noble death for me.
TALTHYBIUS Thy sorrows drive thee frantic, poor lady. Go, lead her
hence, make no delay, for ye must deliver her into the hand of Odysseus,
conveying to him his prize.
HECUBA O son of Cronos, prince of Phrygia, father of our race, dost
thou behold our sufferings now, unworthy of the stock of Dardanus?
CHORUS He sees them, but our mighty city is a city no more, and Troy's
day is done.
HECUBA Woe! thrice woe upon me! Ilium is ablaze; the homes of Pergamos
and its towering walls are now one sheet of flame.
CHORUS As the smoke soars on wings to heaven, so sinks our city to
the 'ground before the spear. With furious haste both fire and foeman's
spear devour each house.
HECUBA Hearken, my children, hear your mother's voice.
CHORUS Thou art calling on the dead with voice of lamentation.
HECUBA Yea, as I stretch my aged limbs upon the ground, and beat
upon the earth with both my hands.
CHORUS I follow thee and kneel, invoking from the nether world my
HECUBA I am being dragged and hurried away.
CHORUS O the sorrow of that cry!
HECUBA From my own dear country, to dwell beneath a master's roof.
Woe is me! O Priam, Priam, unburied, left without a friend, naught
dost thou know of my cruel fate.
CHORUS No, for o'er his eyes black death hath drawn his pall-a holy
man by sinners slain!
HECUBA Woe for the temples of the gods! Woe for our dear city!
HECUBA Murderous flame and foeman's spear are now your lot.
CHORUS Soon will ye tumble to your own loved soil, and be forgotten.
HECUBA And the dust, mounting to heaven on wings like smoke, will
rob me of the sight of my home.
CHORUS The name of my country will pass into obscurity; all is scattered
far and wide, and hapless Troy has ceased to be.
HECUBA Did ye hear that and know its purport?
CHORUS Aye, 'twas the crash of the citadel.
HECUBA The shock will whelm our city utterly. O woe is me! trembling,
quaking limbs, support my footsteps! away! to face the day that begins
CHORUS Woe for our unhappy town! And yet to the Achaean fleet advance.
HECUBA Woe for thee, O land that nursed my little babes!
CHORUS Ah! woe! (Exeunt OMNES.)